A section of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine collapsed under the weight of snow, officials said Wednesday, raising new concerns about the condition of the facility that was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident.
There were no injuries after Tuesday’s accident nor any increase in radiation from the reactor that exploded in 1986, the country’s emergency agency said.
French construction firms Vinci and Bouygues said Wednesday they had evacuated as a precaution around 80 employees working on a new protective shelter from the site.
“The preliminary reason for the collapse was too much snow on the roof,” the emergencies agency said, adding that radiation levels were “within the norm”.
The roof was constructed after the 1986 disaster but is not part of the sarcophagus structure covering the exploded reactor, it said.
However the collapse underlines concerns about the condition of the now defunct nuclear plant over two-and-a-half-decades after the explosion of reactor number four.
“Even if the radiation levels did not change, this is a worrying sign,” Vladimir Churov of Greenpeace in neighbouring Russia told the Interfax news agency.
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